Gothic roots: Brockden Brown's Wieland, American identity, and American literature

Renata R. Mautner Wasserman




Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland (1798), one of the first novels by an American author set in the newly formed United States, and dealing with American topics, is generally classed as a “Gothic” novel and read as exploring issues of national identity. The Gothic form, popular in English literature, where it gave sensationalistic treatment to matters of gender, class, national identity and religious affiliation, proved adaptable to conditions overseas. Wieland, however, is less sanguine about the success of the nation-building and independence-achieving enterprise than other, later, novels of American national identity.


Charles Brockden Brown; Wieland; Early American Literature; Gothic; American Identity


Copyright (c) 2012 Renata R. Mautner Wasserman

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